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Six decades of energy policy in the EU

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This course focuses on the evolvement of energy policy and agendas in European institutions over the last six decades and the recent development of a comprehensive EU energy policy. The first part of the course identifies the broad lines in the development of energy policy in the European Community since its formation. It starts out with a description of how energy policy making as well as its institutional framework have evolved over time. It presents the descriptive results of a do¬cument analysis on the emergence and development of energy policy agendas in two European institutions (i.e. the Commission and the Council). In this context, particular emphasis is on tra¬cing agenda-shaping activities for policies on the generation and provision of energy. Based on this evidence, the course will illustrate how political attention for different sources of energy generation has changed over time and how it is linked to changing institutional and legal conditions.

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Six decades of energy policy in the EU

  1. 1. Six decades of energy policy in the EU Directions and developments Dr. Sophie Biesenbender Institute for Research Information and Quality Assurance, Berlin E-mail: biesenbender@forschungsinfo.de 30 October 2015Leonardo Academy – EU Sustainable Energy & Climate Policy
  2. 2. Outline 1. Introduction 2. Institutional and legal conditions of EU energy policy 3. Energy policy agendas in different EU institutions a. European Commission b. Council of the EU (Council of Ministers) 4. The emergence of a comprehensive EU energy policy 5. Summary and wrap-up Biesenbender – Six decades of energy policy in the EU2
  3. 3. 1. Introduction Conclusions from Jale Tosun’s webinar (23 Oct 2015)  Attention for energy issues has grown in the EU and its institutions  Energy policy becomes more and more a cross-sectional or horizontal policy field with multiple framing opportunities for agenda shaping by different actors  EU institutions often follow different strategies and competing approaches in agenda shaping and issue framing Biesenbender – Six decades of energy policy in the EU3
  4. 4. 1. Introduction Research questions guiding this webinar  RQ 1: How to institutional conditions affect EU energy agendas and policies?  RQ 2: In what way have the energy agendas of EU institutions changed over time?  RQ 3: How does agenda shaping determine subsequent policy making?  RQ 4: Do different actors/institutions follow (separate) energy agendas or rather one overarching and harmonized agenda? Biesenbender – Six decades of energy policy in the EU4
  5. 5. 2. Institutional conditions of EU energy policy Biesenbender – Six decades of energy policy in the EU5 Energy policy and treaty law in the European Union First stage Second stage Third stage Time frame Mid-1950s to late 1980s Late 1980s to mid- 2000s Since mid-2000s Legal frame- work • European Coal and Steel Community (1951) • Atomic Energy Community (1957) • Single European Act (SEA) (1987) • Treaty of Maastricht (TEU) (1992) • Treaty of Lisbon (2007) Focus of EU energy policy • Energy security • Common market • Environmental policy integration (EPI) principle • “Relaunch” of the common market • Energy as a priority matter • Functioning of energy markets • Energy supply • Energy efficiency • Renewable energy • Interconnection of energy networks
  6. 6. 2. Institutional conditions of EU energy policy  Energy issues as part of the EU’s political agenda already in the first steps of the European integration process (foundation of the European Coal and Steel Community, 1951 and the Atomic Energy Community, 1957)  Energy security  Common market  Several attempts to include an energy chapter to treaty law  Single European Act (1987): Environmental Policy Integration principle, “relaunch” of the common market  Treaty of Maastricht (1992): energy as priority matter for the Community (Article 3t) Biesenbender – Six decades of energy policy in the EU6
  7. 7. 2. Institutional conditions of EU energy policy  Since 1980s: more framing opportunities for energy policy,  importance of agenda shaping and problem definition  October 2005: heads of state (European Council) agree to develop a comprehensive European energy policy; concretized by the European Commission an its green paper on a future energy strategy  Treaty of Lisbon (2007): legal frame for EU energy policy  Energy market  Energy supply  Energy efficiency  Renewable energy  Energy networks Biesenbender – Six decades of energy policy in the EU7
  8. 8. 2. Institutional conditions of EU energy policy  2011: EP and Council regulation gives European citizens the possibility to submit citizens’ initiatives  2012: Citizens’ initiative to suspend the 2009 “Energy and Climate Change” package (put forward by the Commission, commented and agreed on by the Council, adopted by the EP)  Initiative did not fulfil the conditions, insufficient support Biesenbender – Six decades of energy policy in the EU8
  9. 9. 3. Energy policy agendas in EU institutions  RQ 1 to 4  RQ 1: How to institutional conditions affect EU energy agendas and policies?  RQ 2: In what way have the energy agendas of EU institutions changed over time?  RQ 3: How does agenda shaping determine subsequent policy making?  RQ 4: Do different actors/institutions follow (separate) energy agendas or rather one overarching and harmonized agenda?  Policy agendas of the Commission and the Council  Compare the timing and number of “preparatory documents” and “legislative documents”  Classification according to EuroVoc thesaurus (categories have been adjusted since 2013) Biesenbender – Six decades of energy policy in the EU9
  10. 10. 3. Energy policy agendas in EU institutions European Commission Biesenbender – Six decades of energy policy in the EU10
  11. 11. 3. Energy policy agendas in EU institutions European Commission I  Formal agenda-shaper for the EU’s overall agenda  High number of both preparatory and legislative acts  High level of agenda-shaping activity since the mid- 1980s (SEA, 1987)  Framing approaches (institutional reform): Environmental policy integration (EPI) principle, “relaunch” of the common market, energy as a priority matter  Increasing attention to “general principles” and “oil and gas” Biesenbender – Six decades of energy policy in the EU11
  12. 12. 3. Energy policy agendas in EU institutions European Commission II  Regulatory activity lags behind institutional agenda: Focus on “coal” and “nuclear energy”  Factors:  (Limited) decision-making competencies (e.g. with regard to approving national policies in nuclear energy)  “Forced” decision-making by the Council (e.g. with regard to “coal”)  Broadening and differentiation of the (horizontal) policy field with the SEA (1987)  Delegated action by the European Council (agenda with regard to “general principles” especially from the early-2000s)  Commission as agenda shaper for other institutions (by preparing acts and decisions)  Dependence on energy imports (“oil and gas”) determines the agenda Biesenbender – Six decades of energy policy in the EU12
  13. 13. 3. Energy policy agendas in EU institutions Council of the EU Biesenbender – Six decades of energy policy in the EU13
  14. 14. 3. Energy policy agendas in EU institutions Council of the EU I  Limited agenda-shaping activities with regard to own institutional agenda  But explicit agenda shaping of the Commission  Small number of preparatory acts, high number of legislative acts  High level of agenda-shaping activity since the mid- 1980s (“coal”) and the mid-1990s (“general principles”) (TEU, 1992)  High attention to “coal” (leads to decision making in this area mainly by the Commission) Biesenbender – Six decades of energy policy in the EU14
  15. 15. 3. Energy policy agendas in EU institutions Council of the EU II  Regulatory activity reflects institutional agenda: Focus on “general principles” and “nuclear energy” (through Euratom), moderate activity with regard to “oil and gas”  Factors:  Commission as agenda shaper also for the Council (small number of preparatory acts)  “Delegated” decision-making to the Commission (e.g. with regard to “coal”)  Broadening and differentiation of the (horizontal) policy field with the TEU (1992)  Delegated action by the European Council (agenda and decision making with regard to “general principles”)  Dependence on energy imports (“oil and gas”) determines the decision making Biesenbender – Six decades of energy policy in the EU15
  16. 16. 3. Energy policy agendas in EU institutions RQ1 to RQ4 revisited  RQ 1: How to institutional conditions affect EU energy agendas and policies?  Institutional agendas and decision making are shaped by  Institutional conditions / treaty law (SEA, 1987 and TEU, 1992)  Institutional agendas of other actors or institutions  RQ 2: In what way have the energy agendas of EU institutions changed over time?  “Traditional” energy policy fields receive constant attention and decision making: “coal” and “nuclear energy” (path dependence of EU energy policy)  Energy agendas and decisions of EU institutions have become more diverse with a stronger focus on “general principles” Biesenbender – Six decades of energy policy in the EU16
  17. 17. 3. Energy policy agendas in EU institutions RQ1 to RQ4 revisited  RQ 3: How does agenda shaping determine subsequent policy making?  Regulatory behaviour of the Commission tends to lag behind its institutional agenda, regulatory behaviour of the Council tends to reflect its institutional agenda  RQ 4: Do different actors/institutions follow (separate) energy agendas or rather one overarching and harmonized agenda?  The Commission and the Council focus their attention on similar issues (e.g. “general principles”), there is not (yet) evidence as to how the contents and goals of the agendas are indeed interrelated Biesenbender – Six decades of energy policy in the EU17
  18. 18. 4. Towards a comprehensive EU energy policy  Energy policy has increasingly become a policy field of its own with strong links to neighbouring fields such as environmental, climate or technological policy since the mid-2000s (Treaty of Lisbon, 2007)  Since then development of a comprehensive European energy policy on the agenda of many actors and institutions  Case study on this process to shed light on RQ 4  RQ 4: Do different actors/institutions follow (separate) energy agendas or rather one overarching and harmonized agenda? Biesenbender – Six decades of energy policy in the EU18
  19. 19. 4. Towards a comprehensive EU energy policy Structural determinants  Institutional and legal conditions (Environmental Action Programmes, Environmental Policy Integration, SEA 1987)  Competencies of the different institutions or actors, means of communication and interaction  Economic and trade-related developments, the EU’s dependence on energy imports (in particular “oil and gas”)  Focus on energy security  Human-induced deterioration of the environment and climate Biesenbender – Six decades of energy policy in the EU19
  20. 20. 4. Towards a comprehensive EU energy policy Initiatives by the European Council, Commission and EP  European Council and the Commission have worked on the definition of the targets and principles of a future and comprehensive European energy policy (authority claimed by the European Council; see Alexandrova and Timmermans 2015)  European Council meeting in 2005  Green paper by the Commission (2006): achieving ambitious climate policies (sustainability) and finalizing the internal energy and gas market  Initiative by the European Parliament (2007): harmonizing energy policy agendas across institutions, proposition of a common approach (reinforcing the position of the Commission) Biesenbender – Six decades of energy policy in the EU20
  21. 21. 4. Towards a comprehensive EU energy policy Factors affecting the process and strategic positioning  Newly emerging gas dispute between Russia and the Ukraine and dependence on Russian gas (focusing events)  Energy security, energy networks, external energy relations and strategic policy responses back on the agenda  Communication by the Commission (2007): summary of the current energy situation in the EU and avenues for future strategic policy making  Internal energy market as the key target to solve most of the current policy challenges (framing / agenda-shaping strategy of the Commission) Biesenbender – Six decades of energy policy in the EU21
  22. 22. 4. Towards a comprehensive EU energy policy Factors affecting the process and strategic positioning  European Council meeting in spring 2007  Emphasis on linking the issues of climate and energy policy in order to concretize the policy priorities outlined in the Commission’s previous communication (20-20-20 targets)  Energy Action Plan (March 2007) by the European Council  Five priority areas (including internal energy market and renewable energy)  Energy and Climate Change package (2008) by the Commission  Concrete measures for emissions cuts, renewable energy and energy efficiency  EP to draft preparatory acts for the package with regard to renewable energy Biesenbender – Six decades of energy policy in the EU22
  23. 23. 4. Towards a comprehensive EU energy policy Framing of EU energy policy by the Commission and the Council  Framing has become more diverse  Different institutions focusing on different policy frames and strategically reinforcing policy frames by other actors  Process started out with a focus on the internal market  Increasingly linked to climate change / environmental policy  Goals and ideas are equipped with increasingly concrete policy measures  European Council puts energy policy on the overarching policy agenda of the EU  Commission to identify key and priority areas, to define the problems as essentially internal market problems and to propose concrete policy solutions Biesenbender – Six decades of energy policy in the EU23
  24. 24. 4. Towards a comprehensive EU energy policy The role of the European Parliament  Continuous differentiation of the committee system in the EP, increasing specialization of MEPs (energy and environmental issues to be addressed in different committees)  Tendency towards focused and narrow policy agendas  Fragmentation of energy policy agenda in the EP  EP’s focus on the regulation of renewable energy and environmental implications of energy  Drafting preparatory acts for the Energy and Climate Change package (2008) with regard to renewable energy (Directive 2009/28/EC) involving two committees (ITRE and ENVI) Biesenbender – Six decades of energy policy in the EU24
  25. 25. 4. Towards a comprehensive EU energy policy The role of the European Parliament  EP shaping the overall EU energy policy agenda at a later point with specific and concrete policy proposals thus reacting to the agenda set by the European Council and the Commission  EP to maintain its “own” energy policy agenda  EP to strengthen the focus on renewable energy (in addition to the common market frame) Biesenbender – Six decades of energy policy in the EU25
  26. 26. 4. Towards a comprehensive EU energy policy RQ4 revisited  RQ 4: Do different actors/institutions follow (separate) energy agendas or rather one overarching and harmonized agenda?  High politics route means that the agenda is set by the European Council (i.e. the heads of state)  Initiatives by the European Council left sufficient room for other institutions to put forward their own agendas  Commission with respect to the internal market  European Parliament with regard to renewable energy  Institutional agendas are harmonized over time during the problem-definition and decision-making processes Biesenbender – Six decades of energy policy in the EU26
  27. 27. 5. Summary and wrap-up  Agenda shaping and decision making in EU energy policy as closely related and intertwined processes  Determinants for institutional agendas/decisions:  Situational factors / focusing events  Institutional conditions  Path-dependence / past processes  Agendas of other institutions / actors  Institutional agendas are harmonized (to a certain degree) over time during the policy making process  Harmonization depends on the institutions’ strategies and framing opportunities Biesenbender – Six decades of energy policy in the EU27
  28. 28. 5. Summary and wrap-up Tosun/Biesenbender/Schulze, 2015: Energy Policy Making in the EU Biesenbender – Six decades of energy policy in the EU28
  29. 29. References  Alexandrova, P, & Timmermans, A. (2015). Agenda Dynamics on Energy Policy in the European Council. In J. Tosun, S. Biesenbender, & K. Schulze (Eds.), Energy Policy Making in the EU. Building the Agenda (pp. 41–61). Heidelberg: Springer.  Biesenbender, S. (2015). The EU’s Energy Policy Agenda: Directions and Developments. In J. Tosun, S. Biesenbender, & K. Schulze (Eds.), Energy Policy Making in the EU. Building the Agenda (pp. 21–40). Heidelberg: Springer.  Egenhofer, C., Behrens, A., Tol, R. S. J., Berthélemy, M., Lévêque, F., & Jansen, J. C. (2011). Does Europe need a comprehensive energy policy? Intereconomics, 46(3), 124–142.  EUR-Lex (2013). Access to European Union Law. Brussels.  Lenschow, A., & Zito, A. (1998). Blurring or shifting of policy frames? The institutionalization of the economic-environmental policy linkage in the European community. Governance, 11(4), 415–441.  Mahmoudi, S. (2000). Protection of the European environment after the Amsterdam treaty. Scandinavian Studies in Law, 39, 123–137. Biesenbender – Six decades of energy policy in the EU29
  30. 30. Thank you very much for your attention! Biesenbender – Six decades of energy policy in the EU30

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